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Nolan
Thu, Jul 2, 2020, 1:14am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Sine Qua Non

@Luke

Pretty sure that's Mark Shepperd's (Romo's) real accent.
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Nolan
Mon, Jun 29, 2020, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

Nevermind Archer and Surak in Enterprise, Spock himself went and shoved his Katra/Soul up into Doctor McCoy in the movies... this is well established stuff.
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Nolan
Wed, Jun 24, 2020, 5:24am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Terra Prime

Well, I've now lead my friend through his first (curated) Star Trek series. And yes, to satisfy my curiosity I'm going in chronological order. Which means that if we DO watch "These Are the Voyages..." it won't be for awhile.

He enjoyed Enterprise overall I think. His favorite character was Phlox, based more on his comedic elements I believe (I also skipped "Dear Doctor"), followed by Trip and Archer and Reed (again, more for his tongue in cheek characteristics I think)

Enterprise actually had plenty of comedic moments, though how many of those were intended are up for debate. There's some decent back and forth cheeky banter in the series. "Singularity" is a pretty funny episode in the vein of other "Crew not acting like themselves" episodes, such as Naked Time/Now and Dramatis Personae (I never understood the "Trek isn't comedy take, although that Short Drek "The Trouble with Edward" was insultingly bad) We also got some good laughs in over the running joke of Archer getting punched in the face every other week.

Season Four in a chronological context was a bit more difficult for a newbie though, despite being my favorite. As great as the Vulcan and Romulan Drone/United arcs were, they bungled the reveal that Romulans looked like Vulcans. There was no lead up at all, or even clear reference to it. It was expected the viewers would know. And yeah, 99% probably do, but I think if ya make a prequel, you gotta make it so one COULD watch it first.

This is also why the MU episodes are being pushed back for my friend until S3 of TOS, after "The Tholian Web," as there isn't a lick of context as to what is going on in those episodes.

As for Terra Prime, I forgot how emotionally impacting it was. T'Pol deciding her and Trip's dying daughter be named after his dead sister whelled me up, as did Phlox's admission of sadness over the loss of the child as well. And those just served to soften me up for Soval being the first to clap after Archer's speech, after the way their relationship grew and changed over the years. Then Trip's telling T'Pol about alien political delegats wishing to attend their daughter's funeral and Conner Trinner is acting his ass off in that scene....

As much as I think Enterprise hit its' stride and should've gotten its' 7 seasons and Romulan War arc, this episode does an exceptional job as a de facto finale, and at least leaves one feeling satisfied, and manages to bring some good emotion.

Onward to The Original Series!
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Nolan
Tue, Jun 23, 2020, 3:49am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Fun little realization that came up among my cohorts on a Trek Club livestream as we were discussing the various series finales. In particular about how Janeway, ADMIRAL Janeway that is, decided that, despite a rather nice, peaceful future, she decides that she just can't stand life without a handful of her friends and decides to travel back in time and save them by giving them a quicker route home and dealing a major blow to the Borg, erasing 25-50 years of a pleasent future and rewriting it to one in which her friends are alive...

And what is that future? Why, it's Star Trek: Picard! Mars is destroyed, Romulans are refugees, the Federation has entered a period of decay, synths sre banned, one of the friends she saved has a horrendous, guilt-ridden life, multiple characters beyond her series have had hard, tragic lives, class divides and poverty have gained a foothold on Earth and an AI squid machine is ready to devour all life and knows how yo get here.

Thanks a lot, Janeway. Ya done screwed up again. Congrats Star Trek: Picard, you've retroactively further damaged a character young girls have looked up to by rendering her last decisions as having a negative effect, and undercut the finale of another series in the franchise. Your suck is like the temporal anomaly in "All Good Things..." extending both backwards AND forwards in time, spreading throughout the franchise like the Tirellian plague.
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Nolan
Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 7:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

@Dave in MN

There's no "normal" way to grieve. Trust me, I've long given up wondering why some fictional character deaths hit me more than the deaths of people close to me. I cried once really hard over my dad while he was still alive and even before we got the diagnosis and his appointment at the hospital was the next day. He was scared and in pain and I had to be really strong for him that night - but I could only be so up to a point before I got overwhelmed. What got me was the idea of all the things from my life he'd miss, that all our jokes about him someday being a grandfather and torturing me by spoiling my eventual kids wouldn't bear out. Sometimes those thoughts still get me, and they're probably why I'm more weepy as a person at pop culture than I was before, but it's never been like it was that night.

Given the description of events, it's possible you haven't really cried because your dad's health gave you time to adjust to the idea of losing him. A lot of my grief came from having to rapidly accept my life was going to be different, and that he wasn't gonna be in it.

My Grandma passed away recently and because of Covid restrictions and the fact we lived in a different province, my mom and I couldn't visit her, but other family mrmbers were updating us on her deteriation. I still haven't really cried about that, but I suspect it's because of a combination of having to deal with death of other extended family members several times since my dad, that not being able to be there has made it seem less "real" to me, and that, as a weakened 95 year old, the possibility of this loss was more and more likely everyday.

Just because there are no tears doesn't mean you're grieving "wrong," just that you've been hit by this death differently. It's a process and you're working through it. Even the wondering of why you haven't cried shows you cared, so it's not like you're an unfeeling monster. Just that you're dealing with it differently. And who knows, you might being going about your business one day and some innocouos thing'll set you off. You may not. Either way is okay.

For what it's worth, I'm glad you shared. And I'm happy to offer perspective, I hope it helps.
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Nolan
Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 2:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

@Dave in MN

Aw frell, forgot to say; my condolences on your loss. Losing your Dad sucks.
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Nolan
Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 2:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

@Dave in MN,

Dude, I know that feel all too well. I've probably posted it here already, but my Dad died in my mid-20s, and this episode hit on my rewatch the WEEK after his funeral. I dunno why I did that to myself, I guess I was going for a complete Trek run and thought I could handle it, but I was a mess. I've teared up at some stuff (more than I'd care to admit probably) but this just made me bawl buckets.

I dunno what I'm gonna do when the friend I'm taking through on a watchlist and I get to this. I might just send him on his way with this as homework. I've seen it a couple times since and it still gets me. Always will, I suspect.
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Nolan
Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 11:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

@Matthew & Occuprice:

Now that you've finished your rewatch, Mark Bernardin and Tricia Helfer herself are doing a rewatch podcast for the whole series. Tricia hadn't actually seen the fully finished version of the show, so she's watching it as a fan and as one with behind the scenes insights.

It's on the SyFy webpage, Battlestar Galacticast.

Also if you haven't, if there's a way to get them if you don't have the DVDs/BluRays, Ron Moore's commentaries are also really thoughtful and insightful and also worth a listen is such things as commentaries appeal to you.
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Nolan
Tue, Jun 2, 2020, 1:36am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Face of the Enemy

Plus, as we saw with Geordi, the Romulans are fairly decent at deploying dopplegangers to vacation spots and seminars while they kidnap Starfleet personnel.
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Nolan
Sat, May 30, 2020, 4:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

@ Maq

Regardless of how you end up feeling about this show, I apologize for the journey you're about to embark on. Be it due to the show itself, or the comment section.
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Nolan
Thu, May 28, 2020, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I mean, as long as we're talking "influences" and shared themes/plots and Creator/actor intent, to me it seems clear that Stewart wanted a close out for Picard just as he got one for Professor Xavier in "Logan." I mean, look at how similar THOSE are. Character-name title, a darker, dystopian-esque future for the characters. A not quite, but for all intents and purposes daughter of a close friend who needs saving. An attempt at an emotional send off for the character. A troubling mental/brain condition hanging over the character. The general absence of other, remembered characters. And a darker, grittier, R-rated tone.

Worked for X-Men because the elements/culture of that franchise had already been scattered and were less than concrete. By the time Logan hit, nobody really cared about the X-Men overarching world and the film got to exist in a weird sort of vacuum. Plus, It was actually a pretty darn good film. Good writing, good exploration of character, moving performances.

Stewart wanted that again for Picard, probably so he could send the character off in a similarily moving way, but I think things got muddled along the way, then S2 was ordered and now we have Robo-Picard. (Though the episode "The Schizoid Man" from TNG S2 establishes this possibility, it still falls flat to me here) in the end it just didn't really work.

It's a shame, I can relate this show to so many other sci-fi works, (granted as a sub-par example), yet the one thing I can't tie it to is what it purports to be.

And now there's a new show coming out and it promises to be more of what fans want. (Again) The fact they're touting its episodic nature makes me want to support it to show that that is a viable formula, but I've been burned three times already and can't help but see the parade of shows CBS is greenlighting is them throwing darts at a wall to see which one is going to be their pop culture touchstone that will live on, while each dart that does miss that mark still gets them a nice payout, all the while the sunk costs fallacy chugs along in the background for both them AND fans.

And I know, that is a darn cynical view, and I'm sorry to those that like it, but I just. Don't. See it. I've seen people talk about being moved by the show, who liked Raffi's character as a relatable figure of familial experiences and so forth, but I don't see any of it. *shrug*
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Nolan
Wed, May 27, 2020, 4:14am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Gosh darn typos... thats what I get for writing PARAGRAPHS on my phone. In the dead of night no less... >_
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Nolan
Wed, May 27, 2020, 4:08am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Personally, I was on board with Picard through episode one. Not 100% sure about the direction but willing to go along with the story they seemed to be telling. Then the opening of episode two hit and totally turned me around. Not to mention the story I *thought* they were telling got dropped only to essentially be resolved in the last two minutes with a throwaway line of dialogue, while the rest of the season faffed about and meandered for 8 episodes. Putting aside all the "not Trek debates" I found the show a shoddily written, clumsy, jumbled mess with no through line, poor plotting, weak characterization and an over-reliance on trite, meaningless spectacle.

I don't dislike the show because it's new Star Trek and I hate all new Star Trek, (though that is sadly turning out to be the case) I dislike it because it is not a good show, and I stuck around with it as it was serialized and much like a sports fan watching his favorite team lose a game, kept watching because I hoped they'd pull it out of the fire in the second half, or the final minutes. The show did not. It tripped, fumbled the ball and skidded into the endzone with all the grace of an overweight pidgeon, fat on the greasy leavings of a fast food parking lot attempting a water landing in a shallow pool. Splash.

I suppose though, as a piece of entertainment, Picard is doing it's job. It is entertaining me, finding new ways of ripping it to shreds for its mediocrity.

Ahem. Now that THAT cathartic experience is done with, I shall move on to my main point...

A few nights ago I finished "Farscape" for the first time. It was an... interesting show. At the start of every season I found myself thinking what a weird show it was, and there was always a point where I wondered if I should go on, but I always gave it another episode and found myself drawn back in. Invariably by the end of the season I'd be hooked and appreciative of the storytelling I'd experienced. Having finished it I can say I enjoyed it, it may not be my favorite sci-fi show, but it's good.

Looking back on it though, it struck me how much of Farscape's DNA resides in Picard, but not executed nearly as well. Farscape revolves around a ragtag bunch of characters, all of whom start out at their lowest point, all of whom are looking for a form of redemption and all of whom are morally questionable. Much like the characters of Picard. The difference is that these characters have to EARN their way out of where they are. Episodes and arcs devoted to their growth, versus token lines that sometimes don't match up with the action around them as in "Picard".

The storytelling of Farscape is in that semi-serialized sweet-spot but contains seasonal throughlines, much as Picard had a season storyline, but it flowed more organically and felt less like trying to fit a plot point in whereever a space could be found. (Granted 10 eps vs 24)

Then the world of Farscape: Gritty, lived in, morally dubious. Much like Picard's tries to be. But the reason Farscape does this better is because of its blank canvas, while Picard is trying to fit in with the tapestry of a franchise and doesn't quite fit in with it's surroundings. But then Farscape, as with most shows, was attempting to stand apart from the gold standard of TV sci-fi: Star Trek. So, what do you get when Trek tries to distance itself from what it used to be? Every other sci-fi show that's out there, sll of which don't have as strong a legacy.

This last point is of particular interest to me, as It got me thinking about the "culture" of media franchises. There's been a lot of debate about what lies behind ohrases like "This isn't Star Trek" and the like, and whether "Star Trek" is just that which is labelled as such or if it's more than a title. Do media franchises have a "culture"? If so, is such a thing immutable? If it can change, is it possible to change enough that it is no longer that which it claims to be? (Ala, the example of the axe whose handle is first replaced, followed later by the blade - is it the same?)

Lets look at some other franchises, such as James Bond. What is it's culture? Suave, British spy. Womanizing. Attractive women. Bond is an attractive guy. Gadgets. Intrigue. Action. Cars. Evil geniuses, henchmen and nefarious plots. A somewhat, heightened world of international espionage. But, for a time, the newer movies have eschewed some of those elements. Fewer gadgets, more grounded world, grittier action. Less womanizing. Yet still considered "James Bond." Is there a point where a Bond movie could distance itself from the elements of it's culture where it could be considered "Not James Bond"? Or would that just be the whining of an entitled fandom?

What about the franchise of DC comics characters, and the recent attempts at a cinematic unoverse? Did those movies stray too far from the established traits and "culture" of that franchise and its charactersresulting it its lackluster performance? E.g, Superman being too dark and gritty, not enough of s "boy scout", or Batman abandoning the established "no killing rule"

Contrast this with MCU, which was workimg with a far less established "culture" behind it's characters (Marvel characters to me weren't as well established in pop culture as DC's had been, barring a few exceptions) and thus could take more liberties, resulting in a trillion dollar success.

Is a media franchise capable of having a culture? A pop culture sub-culture, if you will? Is adherance to that established culture important? Or does distancing from it allow "This isn't X" to be a valid argument? Or is that merely a fandom practice that has no bearing on a final produce, its success or failure, and something creators should ignore? All interesting questions, I think, and which I cannot answer. At least, not without doing some acafemic research and writting a term paper on. Which I probably won't let's be honest. But I'd be interested in hearing other's thoughts on it...

(And less of the comments on others comments about comments on comments ;-P)

And finally, if you DID find yourself a fan of Picard, then you may also like Farscape, as it does have some of the same themes, but without the Star Trek baggage. And if you were NOT a fan of Picard then I would reccomend Farscape as an example of what Picard was trying to do, but done right, and without the baggage of Trek behind it.
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Nolan
Mon, May 18, 2020, 4:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Family

@jeffery

Most of us are too busy staring at that roaring fireplace as Robert and Marie discuss their son's future to notice the windows. ;-P
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Nolan
Mon, Apr 13, 2020, 3:43am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

@Sam; re: the belhop.

Summarily dismissed and unimportant except the fact he's revealed to be a famous real world author, who one of the first to get rich and become a celebrity (according to wikipedia) from it. He wrote "The Call of the Wild," among others, which was recently made into a film staring Harrison Ford. =P
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Nolan
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 8:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: First Contact

@Triniray,

First Contact was released and takes place chronologically during DS9's 5th season, FYI. You know, for any niggling details thst didn't seem to mesh for you, you at least have the context of the time passage. ;-P
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Nolan
Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 12:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

I just, I can't over state this, but the writer's insistence on tying every tragic backstory they came up with to the syth storyline and the higher-ups desire to avoid heavy continuity that would put off new viewers creates a scenario where Riker and Troi are neglectful, terrible people and Horrible parents.

Their son was dying of a silicon based disease that's easily curable with positronic science (okay) that's banned by the Federation. So they decide that a planet with regenerative soil might help. But their son still dies.

Why then, if they needed a planet with regenerative properties and/or experienced positronic scientists did they not walk through fire to get their kid to the Ba'ku, which they both know about, and know is a planet with regenerative properties so strong that it can regrow *eyes.*

I would think if they were truly desperate to save their son that would be among the first places they'd go, no matter what restrictions placed on interfering with the Ba'ku or the synth ban. That they didn't means they are, however unintended, awful, awful people now.
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Nolan
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 7:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Chris Lopez

Please note, my comment was less about Seven coming out to society and friends, but to herself.

I'm no authourity on this, but I do suspect that realizing one is gay would still involve a bit of personal disconsertion, even in the 24th century. It's a big moment of self discovery, and does require a change of any childhood preconcieved notions of family life and having children (Even if same-sex couples in the future are able to have children composed of their own and partners DNA, the method would probably be different) Surely it would not be as traumatic as today, especially for any youths on that path, but for those that realize it when they're older I would guess that'd still be personally difficult.

Especially for Seven, who for all of Voyager's run viewed things in very concrete, scientific, analytical ways. I doubt anyone in Seven's life would bat an eye at her coming out as bisexual, but I can see it as being a period of intense personal questioning and introspection for her, as she is still recovering from the abuse of the Borg. It's alegorically rife for commenting on attitudes of today. Even if she has the comfort of an accepting society.

(I really hope none of this offends anyone, I'm just speculating about what sexuality would, um, look like for lack of a better term, in a future that embraces all forms of it)
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Nolan
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

re: "Trek being at it's best with episodic stories"

This partially true, but also a little false. TNG played with ongoing plots; Kligon politis and Worf (which ran over two shows), Romulan intrigue (sadly not ever fully realized, and certainly not in this show); the Borg threat, dealings with Q; Soong and Lore, the Chrystalline Entity, the lives and deaths of Tasha and her daughter (also not fully realized), Riker and Troi's on again-off again relationship, Geordi and Leah Brahms, Ro's redemption and fall, Wesley and the Traveller. The Cardassians. So many on-going plots that carried throught the show. But these are not, for the most part, contiguous plot lines. They are story threads, peppered throughout the series, not continuing on one after the other, each chaper of them providing a whole narrative experience.

The same is true for DS9 and Enterprise when it comes to both of their longer story arcs, regardless of their successes or failings. Each episode by and large, functions as it's own entity, but with a place in the context of the on-going plot.

The Trek formula never really hurt when it came to ongoing plot threads or overarching narratives, beyond perhaps balance issues between wholly episodic tales and ones that picked up a thread. What people craved back then I think, in talking about stronger serialization and continuity was not a fundamental reorganization of how Trek told stories, but better character continuity over episodes. To avoid situations where Geordi can spend an episode being brainwashed, than fine next week, or Picard being tortured and it being fogotten about. (Although watching DS9's "Emissary" right after "Chain of Command" makes that conference rooms scene between Sisko and Picard sting that much more - "Dammit, I just got out of a Cardassian gulag and now this jerk throws Wolf 359 at me...") Or even O'Brien's 20 year prison stint and near suicide being brushed aside by the next episode. Those were all great episodes, marred only by their lack of impact.

Early reimagined Battlestar had the right idea in terms of narrative structure. Each episode had it's own plot, had some carry over into the next without affecting the episodic story and let the characters cope with fall out, and it was a very bingeable show. It wasn't until the show hit big turning points or was nearing it's end that the plot threads got tied off, or together into a more serialized format, much like DS9. That kept the shows fresh week to week, rather than dumping the audience in the deep end of an on going narrative that runs the risk of going stale.

Alas, TV largely seems to lack that nuance today.
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Nolan
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Tim
Haven't responded because a lot of what I would've said has been covered by others and I didn't want to pile on. Though I now see I should've labelled it "Pointless relationships" rather than what I did. They are there, they exist. But they do very little beyond that. They don't feel organic.
Honestly, Seven/Raffi would've been better served by some sidelong glances suggesting an interest rather than "We're holding hands now." It suggests the possibility and potential development rather than something that developed out of the seeming blue. It's not quite as bad as Seven and Chakotay suddenly being three dates in, but it's rhe same playbook.

Additionally, making Seven bi is a great idea, that like most in this show goes unexplored. Seven would have been perfect for showing what coming out to one's self looks like in a more accepting future. Especially later in life as Seven has always be a character about self-discovery. What does it mean to be gay to her, since for so long her world view was shaped by the practical? How would she cope with her burgeoning feelings not reconciling with her scientific view of sex as a biological, reproductive act and therefore homosexual relations not seeming to her to serve a purpose. These are all questions our society is struggling with as more conservative groups are faced with homosexuality in everyday society. It would also be the perfect catalyst for her more human growth we see in the series, way more than gruesome eyegouging.

As for Rios and Jurati, I'll be honest, I forgot abot them, such little an impact their coupling made on me, or the narrative.
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Nolan
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 5:13am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Booming
I mean, yeah, ditto to pretty much everything you said. I'd have ssaid it too, but did you *see* text wall comment I left? I was bound to leave something out. Haha. Plus critiques that deviate close to "virtue signalling" is a dangerous place to go as it can conjure certain... connotations of it's own if improperly conveyed. But yes, I'll add that to the tally:

Pointless gayness: Seven's bisexuality (I'm assuming) serves no purpose beyond itself. It's not needed for her revenge plot, nor is there any significance to it's invokation in the finale. It is there to be there. And muddles that even by presenting it in tandem with stories about broken people hung up on base emotions like revenge. Raffi's bisexuality is also poorly established and out of left field.

As for Nepenthe. I did describe it more favorably myself, but any praise for it should not be removed from the context of the series. If it seems like it's a good episode, it's only because it stands just that little bit above the garbage surrounding it. Suffice to say, I did not hate it. Nor would I say I liked it. (Riker, Troi, you know of a planet the regrows EYES... and given that their son was apparently 15 at the time of his death, according to background info it would've worked on him. Way to let your son die guys.)
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Nolan
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 1:25am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Marvin

Aw, thanks. Though going back I see a number of typos that slipped by me. Not grest for a post talking about upholding standards.

Also I fear that a post supporting PIC in opposion to mine may reveal a hypocrite in me. As much as I can say we should extend our opinions in debate with the aim of understanding, I'd be lying if I said that I'm not also partially hopeful that my words would cause some to switch their stance and agree with me. I'll also cop to feeling a bit of pride from your praise and Cody B's response - though that could just be chalked to some mild imposter syndrome on my part. Cheers all the same.

@ Cody B

Exactly. They've marked out the dots. They may have even narratively connected them, but the picture is so abstract so as to not carry any meaning. It's all very flat. And I'll admit, once this show lost me, I was going to be critical of it, and any attempts to win me back. I will say, Nepethe *was* the closest this show got to Trek. Reflection, meaningful dialogue, a removale from the world of the show back to the familiar one we had, though it was still changed - for one the characters spoke like they were in Star Trek and not a Joss Whedon show from next week (though that *does* have a place on TV, just not in Trek. Sorry everyone who wants Firefly Trek)

That said, I still prefer the book series Titan version of their daughter being Natasha (after Tasha) and they still had some loss from ptevious unsuccessful pregnacies due to events of "The Child" (although the book's origin and resolution of the Borg... ehhh)

But at the end of the day, it's all very flat. After Nepenthe there were two other less bad episodes, but they were still only rising above the mire. I didn't bother commenting those weeks because I felt no joy in it. And I guess the show didn't frusterate me enough those weeks to require the catharsis of ripping them apart for not living up to their predecessors.
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Nolan
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 12:34am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Pointless.

Pointless characters: Elnor just exists, Narissa is only there to snarl evilly. Soong Son. Basically the new crew are still very thin.

Pointless plots. Introducing a fatal brain defect that then gets undone. The entirety of the Borg Cube plotting. Seven momentarily becoming a Borg Queen. For no reason as it turns out. Absolute Candor Nuns (what happened to them?) The Romulan Refugee situation - that just disappeared, right around when the Romulans needed 218 Warbird pulled outta their...

Pointless deaths: Icheb, Hugh, Picard! Riker's Son. Icheb, because even though we had a whole movie about the folly of single-minded revenge (Khan) we have to get a main character to want it because it's "edgy." Hugh, well he just had the misfortune of running out of purpose while under the pen of incompetence. Picard, because emotional manipulation, PSYCH! Riker's kid because of course that's tied into the one-note series backstory (Also, they retired to a planet with regenerative soil in the hopes it'd save their son even though they know about the freaking BRIAR PATCH?)

Pointless music. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of the Berman moratorium of music during his tenure. There were some great, tense scores in the early years of TNG, and some that crept in and I'd have loved to get more. But my goodness the shmaltzy, sad piano tinkle that played throughout this series to tell the audience to be sad has got to go. I'm already feeling distance from these wafer characters, don't try to get me to emphasize with them by trying the emotionally manipulative music card. This isn't Full House guys, it's *supposed* to be Star Trek.

Pointless swearing. Because even though "just because we *can* do a thing, does not mean we *should* do a thing" is apparently the mindset of the childish, we have to prove how edgy and adult our show is by exercising the privilege bestowed upon us by streaming TV. Even if it doesn't track with pre-established ethos of the franchise.

Pointless deconstruction. Picard, like Disco, rips apart established Trek in a poor attempt at deconstruction but only as a means to serve flimsy plot. There is no wonder in things like synths/Romulans mindmelding or Seven being a Borg Queen. They just happen with no exploration of the ideas just to get to an arbitrary, underwhelming end point. It not just bad Trek, it's shoddy writing. They upended the world, broke out past the rules, or boundaries that establish what Trek is, not for a purpose, but simply because they didn't care to pay attention. That there is now labour and class divides at the heart of the Federation is shown, but not for any reason. That drug use and 20th century slang are back in wide use is used, but only as lazy writing or quick and dirty "characterization." And like, I get Patrick Stewart wanting a "Logan" scenario where he can send off his character on a high note and repeat that success with Trek, but people at the top just aren't talented enough to really pull that off.

Pointless "fanservice": Hey, did ya see that reference we made? See how we know what we're talking about? Yeah I saw. I also saw how you used that reference as a lazy narrative bridge to move your plot along, or as a patch over a plot hole you couldn't be bothered to truely address.

Pointless magical tech: This universe is now full of sh!t that goes unexplained and just works because it just does. Trek existed in a pseudo-rational state before 09 hit. Now we are presented with visually noisy, fatastical tech that exists as spectacle and nothing more. Yeah, Clark's law, sufficiently advanced blah, blah... Still doesn't explain why no one is awed by any of the seemingly magical tech going on around them. Picard who marvelled at Space jellyfish just lets telepathic robots pass him by as ho-hum. No spirit of adventure. In Trek the adventure is to see that magical technology and then *explore* it, and get an *understanding* of it. Whole episodes would be devoted to these things, and it'd make the universe feel more cohesive. Why? Because unexplained magical fantasy tech was always more Star Wars than Trek. In Trek, things didn't just "happen."

Pointlessly making me dread the announcement of new Star Trek. I was always hoping Trek would come back as I watched the world delve into polarization, paranoia and fear. Where people valued their own opinions above merely extending them in debate to reach understanding and cohesion with those they disagree with. Star Trek was all about that, aspirational more that relatable, warning against man's follies with allegorical alien while we arbitrated as those that grew past such things and could now guide others along the path. Theatrical morality plays rather than realistic dramatics. Instead Trek has become typical sci-fi adventure shlock with cheaps twists, flat, argumentative, flawed characters, mystery box writing and rote lip service to anything more substansive. Sneer all you want at "This is not Star Trek", but Trek was always about upholding one's principles and standards, even in trying times, and as a Trek fan, I hold it to a higher standard than the majority of television today can reach, because that is what the show taught me, so when I see it floundering, trying to be like what else is on TV nowadays, I'm gonna speak up and hold it to the higher standard I know it could reach.

There were moments throughout the show I liked. But they're far outweighed by the bad. Star Trek Picard does not reach that Trek standard. It exists. It is pointless.
Set Bookmark
Nolan
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 5:52am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Ugh.
Set Bookmark
Nolan
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 5:04am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

How can a show this convoluted be so bland, uninspired and simplistic?

Oh no, an AI rebellion?! Haven't seen that in about a hundred thousand other sci-fi properties. Often better too. But here there seems to be no uniquness to the idea. It's just the unoriginal crux of the whole season apparently.

Oh, and can't forget the arbitrary big space battle that was promised for next week. For which I have no stake in, nor emotional investment. It's just *there.* Also, if the Romulans have 251 or whatever Warbirds... evacuate themselves? (Also, not feeling the very angular ship asthetics we got going on, Romulan Warbirds were always very swoopy)

Things are coming to a head and I just agressively don't care. Jeri Ryan's about the only good thing here because of her innate ability to elevate poor material, like she often did on Voyager. But we also seem to be sweeping right past Seven's cold-blooded murdering and not examining any ramifications of that, so that knocks things a bit.

Also waiting for Brent Spiner's character to be revealed as an upgraded Lore that's been effimg with everyone. (Woulda been better too)

And since I wasn't here last week, Admiral Clancy can, in I'm sure would be her own words, go f@$& herself.

Huh, I guess I do care. I hate this show. And no I can't explain why I keep watching it. I guess to see how it'll pee all over everything I personally value about Trek week to week. Which is about the only thing it does well.
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